Executive Director- National Independent Venue Foundation

Arts Consulting Group

New York City, NY 10001




Jul 28, 2022

The National Independent Venue Foundation (NIVF) is a Pennsylvania, tax-exempt 501©(3) charitable organization. It was established in 2020 by the board of the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), a Pennsylvania nonprofit corporation recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501©(6) trade association. The mission of NIVF and NIVA is identical: to preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live performance venues and promoters throughout the United States; however, NIVF adds this additional statement: by supporting a transparent, competitive marketplace serving a diverse and inclusive community of artists, fans, and industry workers.

While NIVA is focused on lobbying on behalf of its members, NIVF focuses on non-lobbying activities in support of the mission such as fundraising, emergency relief funds, workforce development, education and community programming, employee training and support, economic development initiatives, especially in opportunity zones, underserved communities, and efforts to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sector. NIVF seeks to harness this network of for-profit and nonprofit venues to remove barriers for under-represented communities (BIPOC, low-income, those with disabilities, LGBTQ+, and others) to enter or advance within the music business, to become business owners, and to broaden the appreciation of traditional and contemporary music genres for under-represented youth.

NIVF is governed by a seven-member board of directors led by Hal Real, who also sits on the NIVA Board. NIVF’s vibrant national board is poised for expansion and is representative of the sector with members connected to institutions and venues such as World Cafe Live (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), xBk Live (Des Moines, Iowa), Bohemian Foundation (Fort Collins, Colorado), Arts Midwest (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Warner Music Group (Nashville, Tennessee), Newark Symphony Hall (Newark, New Jersey), and The UC Theatre (Berkeley, California).

For its fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, NIFV had net assets of approximately $1 million and had provided approximately $2 million in emergency relief grants with another $1 million in emergency relief grants yet to be distributed. For its current fiscal year ending June 30, 2023, NIVF has an operating budget around $1 million. The strategy over the next five years is to increase contributed revenue significantly with targets to reach $7 million by fiscal year 2028. NIVF shares some administrative staffing resources with NIVA.

Position Summary
The inaugural full-time Executive Director (ED) plays a critical role in expanding and solidifying the programmatic vision for NIVF and raising necessary funds to support NIVF’s mission-centered programming. An externally facing ambassador with deep programmatic experience and excellent relationship management and fundraising skills, the ED will deepen NIVF’s commitment to education and community programming. NIVF’s ED will strengthen the sector through economic development initiatives and robust employee training and support programs and manage critical services such as emergency relief funding and member support. Collaborating with the executive leadership of NIVA, NIVF’s ED will preserve and nurture the ecosystem of independent live performance venues and promoters throughout the United States by identifying and training a sustainable workforce, in part by centering opportunities for marginalized and traditionally excluded communities to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive sector. This position works remotely within the United States and will travel extensively.

Roles and Responsibilities
Programmatic Vision and Community Development

  • Provide vision and leadership in developing and executing NIVF’s programmatic and diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies.
  • Create, support, and execute workforce development strategies that break down barriers to entry and identify, train, and nurture a diverse pool of independent venue sector professionals.
  • Promote NIVF’s business resource services by connecting entrepreneurs to finance and business opportunities to expand successful venue ownership and operation.
  • Identify and promote innovative best practice resources that support systemic infrastructure growth and build sector-wide sustainability.
  • Build meaningful community partnerships that fulfill NIVF’s programmatic vision and expand opportunities for professional development across the sector.

Relationship Management and Fundraising

  • Represent NIVF nationally, serving as a brand ambassador, and build meaningful, collaborative, and professional partnerships that support NIVF’s mission-centered goals.
  • Build a comprehensive development program including strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual and institutional donors who are aligned with the mission, vision, and values of NIVF.
  • Expand NIVF’s existing networks utilizing the board of directors, as well as effective marketing and technology strategies to build greater awareness of and investment in NIVF programming.
  • Utilize storytelling and creativity to develop a compelling and passionate case statement that creates a vivid picture of NIVF’s impact and inspires investment in the mission.
  • Identify high-capacity donor prospects and solicit and successfully close significant major gifts, coupled with exceptional stewardship.

Operational Leadership and Administrative Oversight

  • Build a comprehensive budget that clearly and transparently articulates NIVF’s financial position and supports NIVF’s projected significant growth trajectory.
  • Demonstrate exceptional collaboration, empathy, and communication skills with NIVA, the board, and sector-wide leadership.
  • Expand, diversify, and collaborate with the board of directors ensuring appropriate governance measures are adhered to and board members are informed, engaged, and actively supporting organizational needs.
  • Establish a human resources growth strategy that supports increased revenue and successful implementation of programmatic initiatives while centering NIVF’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access across the organization.
  • Institute an organizational culture of belonging and inclusion that attracts, supports, and retains highly qualified, mission-centric team members.


Traits and Characteristics
The ED will be a visionary, entrepreneurial, and fearless organizational leader. A highly accountable individual with a strong business mindset, this leader will be a proactive, independent, passionate, mission-focused high-achiever. The ED will have the cultural acuity to be a thoughtful programmatic leader as well as the openness to connect with people and authentically engage with them. The person filling this role will be a strong collaborator, strongly focused on solutions, with a down-to-earth mindset who thrives in an environment of limitless possibility. An expansive thinker who can connect with artistic and business minds, the incoming ED will inspire teammates, donors, stakeholders, and the next generation of sector professionals.

Other key competencies include:

  • Leadership and Self-Starting – The acumen to influence and inspire others by instilling a sense of purpose and direction while demonstrating initiative and action.
  • Diplomacy – The skill to successfully navigate difficult or sensitive issues with grace and respect.
  • Personal Accountability – The willingness to accept responsibility for personal actions and behaviors.
  • Time and Priority Management, Planning, and Goal Orientation – The aptitude to establish a course of action, prioritize tasks, and achieve outcomes regardless of obstacles.

NIVF’s Executive Director does not need to have academic credentials to be successful in this role but must demonstrate significant business acumen and possess demonstrable management experience earned in a complex professional environment. Strong candidates will have experience related to music or venue management, experience asking for and closing significant gifts, exceptional relationship management and storytelling skills, and have a track record of successfully closing significant philanthropic gifts. They must also possess demonstrable experience in community development centering diversity, equity, access, and inclusion as well as recruiting, retaining, and mentoring professional colleagues. Exceptional communication skills are expected for this role. Successful candidates will demonstrate strong experience connecting people to programs and must be able to articulate their passion for NIVF’s mission.

Compensation and Benefits
NIVF offers an annual salary between $135,000 to $175,000 as well as a comprehensive benefits package that includes a monthly medical allowance, dental, vision life and pet insurance, 401K, and Flexible Savings Account (FSA) as well as two weeks of PTO and 13 holidays annually.